One thing above all else has become abundantly clear to Jim McAlpine in his time at the helm of the 420 Games.
“So many people had clearly been waiting for this,” said McAlpine, who started the annual series of cannabis-friendly athletic events in 2014 in an attempt to squash the stereotype that cannabis consumers are lazy and unmotivated.
“The overwhelming reception to what we were doing with the 420 Games made us realize that we have to keep the ball moving.”
In mid 2017, that’s exactly what McAlpine will do – by opening the world’s first cannabis-friendly gym in San Francisco.
Power Plant Fitness will, in many ways, appear just like any other fitness center, replete with a cardio and weight-lifting facility, space for fitness classes and a locker room with showers.
Where it will differ is with a designated cannabis consumption room segregated from the rest of the gym, along with personal trainers who can not only help you with your workout routine, but offer insight on how cannabis might benefit that routine. Members will be able to bring their own cannabis, or purchase it from one of the center's partners at the gym’s front desk.
The advantages of combining cannabis with your workout are two-fold and have been well documented, said McAlpine, who has been using the plant as a “workout supplement” since he was 18 and lifting weights in his parents’ garage.
He said that while consuming before your workout can enhance your focus and “engage you more in the activity you’re doing,” smoking after the fact can help with muscle recovery.
The gym’s specialized trainers will be on-hand to help members figure out which method is best for them – if any.
“We’ll work out with those people who want to use cannabis and help them figure out if it’s something we want to recommend to them, and then we’ll help them figure out their appropriate dosages,” said McAlpine, adding that every member’s first training session will be sober in order to establish a “base line.”
“For people who are new to this, we’re going to have a very hands-on approach that helps them understand how much cannabis to take, when to take it and why it’s applicable to them.”
But the gym won’t just be for those who have never used cannabis while working out. For those who have been pairing the two pastimes for years, Power Plant Fitness will allow for unprecedented convenience, said McAlpine.
“Cannabis has been part of athletic lifestyles for a long, long time. It’s just been hidden,” he said.
“Many people are likely already smoking and then jumping in their car and driving to the gym. We’ll be giving people the ability to not have to do that.”
McAlpine hopes to have the center up and running in San Francisco’s Mission District by May 2017, at which time monthly memberships will be available in the range of $150 to $170.
Until then, he and his team will be hitting the road in a Power Plant Fitness RV starting in January, running boot camps at parks and beaches across California.
“Every weekend we’ll have our RV with our trainers… and we’ll be offering yoga boot camps, cross-fit boot camps, bike rides, anything to stay active and keep people engaged in taking classes with us outdoors until our gym can open,” said McAlpine, adding that the RV will act as a cannabis consumption vestibule for those who wish to imbibe pre- or post-workout.
If all goes well with the gym’s impending launch, which McAlpine predicts it will, the plan is to expand Power Plant Fitness throughout California and eventually across the country.
“I believe this is something that millions of people have been waiting for,” he said. “The response so far has told me that we’ve struck a chord.”